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Introduction: Celtic tribes arrived on the island between 600-150 B.C. Invasions by Norsemen that began in the late 8th century were finally ended when King Brian BORU defeated the Danes in 1014. English invasions began in the 12th century and set off more than seven centuries of Anglo-Irish struggle marked by fierce rebellions and harsh repressions. A failed 1916 Easter Monday Rebellion touched off several years of guerrilla warfare that in 1921 resulted in independence from the UK for 26 southern counties; six northern (Ulster) counties remained part of the UK. In 1949, Ireland withdrew from the British Commonwealth; it joined the European Community in...

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Economic Overview: In the 15 years to 2007 Ireland's GDP growth per capita was the fastest in the OECD. However, Ireland's economy quickly declined in 2008, with output contracting by about 10 per cent over 2008-09. Ireland's economy contracted by 0.4 per cent in 2010, however grew marginally by 0.4 per cent in 2011.Spending cuts and tax increases will need to be expanded for Ireland to reach its target of reducing fiscal deficit of 3 per cent of GDP by 2015. The Central Statistics Office Ireland reported unemployment of 14.2 per cent in 2011. This is an increase of 0.5 per cent from 2010.

In November 2010 the former Government reached ...

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Government and Political Conditions: Ireland is a sovereign, independent, democratic state with a parliamentary system of government. The president, who serves as head of state in a ceremonial role, is elected for a 7-year term and can be re-elected only once. Michael Higgins succeeded Mary McAleese as President on November 11, 2011. In carrying out certain constitutional powers and functions, the president is aided by the Council ...

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International Relations: Ireland's Relations with the International Community

Ireland is a member of the EU and has participated actively in its evolution since joining in 1973.

Ireland is also an active member of the United Nations where it lends its support to the Millennium Development Goals. Since 1958, the Irish Defence Force has had a continuous presence on UN peace support operations, mainly in the Middle East. Irish forces currently participate in several UN peacekeeping missions, notably in Kosovo and Africa.

Close links are maintained with the USA where there is a significant Irish American ...

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